UCR Professor Receives Hellman Fellowship for His Book Project

Robb Hernandez

Robb Hernandez

Robb Hernandez, assistant professor of English, has been awarded a Hellman Fellowship for 2014-2015 for his book project on “Archival Body/Archival Space: AIDS, Queer Remains, and the Chicano Avant-Garde.”

“Archival Body/Archival Space” will be the first book-length study to reveal a queer genealogy of Chicano avant-gardism, an experimental language of Chicano cultural production in Southern California emerging in the late 1960s, Hernandez said.

“These artists, notorious for their garish performance personas, provocative visual spectacles, and ‘live art’ embodiments, are obscure in the story of Chicano art due to erasure wrought by a prescient heteronormative vision of the past and the AIDS crisis,” he said. The project requires challenging new forms of fieldwork and the reconstruction of alternative archival bodies and spaces “to show how queerness remains, though scattered in a mélange of dust and debris.”

The $27,634 Hellman Fellowship will support additional research travel to El Museo Del Barrio in New York City, Smithsonian Archives of American Art in Washington, D.C., and the Colección Tloque Nahuaque at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Davidson Library. Hernandez also will conduct extensive interviews and house visits with surviving friends, family, and artist-colleagues in Palm Springs, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. The fellowship also will support professional photo documentation and digital preservation of rare documents, artworks, and domestic interior displays.

“This is a great — and well-deserved — honor for Robb,” said Deborah Willis, department chair. “Robb’s work is richly compelling and important, and he is inventing a completely new way of doing archival research.”

Weihsin Gui, assistant professor of English, won the fellowship in 2012.

The Hellman Fellows Fund contributed funds to establish the UC Riverside Hellman Fellows Program to provide support and encouragement for the research and creative activities of promising faculty at the assistant professor rank who exhibit potential for great distinction in their area of expertise, according to the program website.

Women’s Tennis Earns NCAA Public Recognition Award For Fifth Straight Year

The NCAA announced Wednesday afternoon that the UC Riverside Women’s Tennis Team received a Public Recognition Award for its Academic Progress Rate for the fifth straight season.

The scores required to be in the top 10 ranged from 980 to a perfect 1,000, depending on the sport, with the majority of top 10 teams earning a perfect APR. The most recent APRs are rates based on scores from the 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.

The 1,049 teams publicly recognized for high achievement represent 631 women’s teams and 418 men’s or mixed squads. In 2013, 976 teams were recognized.

The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or quarter and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in each sport. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams nationally. Teams must meet a certain academic threshold to qualify for the postseason, and they also can face penalties for continued low academic performance.

APRs for all Division I teams will be released May 14.

UCR Graduate Students Wins Divisional Linnaean Games

Graduate students in the UC Riverside Department of Entomology won the Linnaean Games on April 7 in Tucson, Ariz., during the annual meeting of the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). In the finals, the UCR team competed with the University of Hawaii in the first round; UC Davis in the second round; and Washington State University in the final round.

The team, comprised of Genevieve Tauxe, Amelia Lindsey, James Ricci and Adena Why, received $500 to help defray travel expenses to the national meeting of the ESA, which will take place in November in Portland, Ore.

The UCR team practiced once a week for a couple of hours for several months prior to competition. There are several subdisciplines within entomology from which questions arise: apiculture, biological control, ecology, economic entomology, medical and veterinary entomology, physiology and biochemistry, taxonomy and toxicology. Bonus questions can come from any area of entomology but draw heavily on the areas of history, people and current events. Indeed, anything remotely involving insects and arthropods (e.g., spiders, centipedes, millipedes, etc.) is fair game.

“This is a dedicated group of students who enjoy competition and enjoy their chosen science discipline,” said Darcy Reed, an administrative specialist in the Department of Entomology, who helped train the UCR team. “It gives the students an opportunity to be recognized by potential employers in a less serious and stressful venue. And, if no one knows the answer to a question, it allows students to improvise and show their character — often in a humorous light!”

Grad Student Wins UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship

Alicia Cox, a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of California, Riverside, has won a prestigious UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2014-15.

More than 500 applicants competed for 19 fellowships in a program that encourages outstanding women and minority Ph.D. recipients to pursue academic careers at the University of California. Approximately three-fourths of UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellows receive tenure-track faculty appointments.

“This highly competitive, prestigious award is a huge honor,” said Deborah Willis, chair of the Department of English. “Hundreds of applicants apply from all over the country, and only scholarship of the very highest order is recognized by this award. We are very proud of Alicia and the great work she is doing.”

The fellowship will provide a salary, benefits and research funding during a residency at UC Davis that will enable Cox to complete a book manuscript based on her dissertation, “Autobiographical Indiscipline: Queering American Indian Life Narratives.”

It also will put Cox on the path toward fulfilling a decade-old dream of teaching and mentoring college students, a dream that began on a study-abroad program in Great Britain in summer 2003. “We were visiting museums and reading literature in the context in which it was produced,” recalled Cox, who was then an undergraduate with no specific career aspirations at the University of Kansas. “I was so inspired and awakened to the possibilities for myself.”

Grad Slam Winners Announced

Eight graduate students from UCR went head-to-head to see who could best summarize their research in three minutes at the inaugural GradSlam held on May 12. A $5,000 fellowship goes to the winner.

Grad Slam also awards $2,000 to the 1st runner-up, $1,000 to the 2nd runner-up, $1,000 to the audience’s choice, and $100 each to four honorable mentions.

The Grad Slam 2014 Winners:

Grad Slam Grand Prize: Aviva Goldmann, entomology

1st Runner-up: Steven Herrera, materials science and engineering

2nd Runner-up: Oleg Martynov, physics

Audience Choice: Amber Qureshi Urrutia, economics

Honorable Mention: Krista Lukas, creative writing

Honorable Mention: Michael Prather, political science

Honorable Mention: Megan Stotts, philosophy

Honorable Mention: Glen Svenningsen, chemical and environmental engineering

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